A taxi driver was killed by a mob after driving through a protest set up in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and allegedly running over five protesters on Monday.
The Ministry of Interior announced in a statement released on Monday that the 34 year-old driver, Mohamed Othman, was attacked by Muslim Brotherhood supporters during their evening march in Mansoura, Daqahleya.
The ministry said that around 200 protesters blocked traffic, adding that Othman was trying to “make his way” through the protest when a group of protesters verbally assaulted him and attacked him with molotov cocktails. The taxi caught fire and Othman tried to escape when the protesters chased him and attacked him with bladed weapons, the ministry said. He died shortly afterwards due to his wounds.
The Anti-Coup Alliance in Daqahleya claimed in a statement released on Monday that their protest, held against the “coup” and in support of Morsi’s “legitimacy”, was entirely peaceful. They accused Othman of driving through their march “at full speed.”
“He penetrated the peaceful march with the attempt of running over and killing all the female protesters,” the alliance said. The alliance, also known as the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy, includes a group of pro- Morsi political movements, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party.
Five female protesters were taken to hospital after being run over by the driver, the alliance claimed. It added that one protester is in critical condition.
Ahmed Al-Ebkawi, secretary general of the Daqahleya governorate, denied that Othman drove through the protest or wounded any protesters.
“He waved the victory sign at the angry protesters, asking them to let him pass, when they attacked him with Molotov cocktails and torched his car,” Al-Ebkawi said.
The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of ten “rioters” following the incident, adding that investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
The Anti-Coup Alliance held the “putschist” security forces, media outlets and the taxi driver responsible for the bloodshed and for “planting the seeds of strife in society”. The alliance failed to mention in its statement the attack on and consequent death of the driver.
“The alliance hereby reiterates the sanctity of Egyptian blood … and the peacefulness of the Egyptian revolution,” the statement read.
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi ordered the issuance of an “exceptional pension” for the deceased driver’s family. El-Beblawi condemned the incident in a cabinet statement released on Tuesday, stressing the importance of bringing to justice those accountable for the crime.
Pro-Morsi protesters have been holding nationwide protests on a weekly basis since the former president’s ouster on 3 July.